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Young Catholic AmericaEmerging Adults In, Out of, and Gone from the Church$
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Christian Smith, Kyle Longest, Jonathan Hill, and Kari Christoffersen

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199341078

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199341078.001.0001

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Catholic High School and Religiousness in Emerging Adulthood

Catholic High School and Religiousness in Emerging Adulthood

(p.231) 7 Catholic High School and Religiousness in Emerging Adulthood
Young Catholic America

Christian Smith

Kyle Longest

Jonathan Hill

Kari Christoffersen

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines whether Catholic teenagers attending Catholic high school make a difference in their religious faith and practice five years later, at ages 18–23, compared to Catholics who as teenagers attended public schools. This is an extremely important question within American Catholicism, since it has implications for resource allocations. The chapter reveals significant differences, but also shows that most of the difference of Catholic schooling seems to be a “selection” effect related to the higher religiousness of parents who send their children to Catholic schools. It suggests that the independent schooling effect may be minimal. It also does show, however, that Catholic schooling can have a positive effect on subsequent religiousness for students with low-religiousness parents. Cautions and limitations of the analysis are also highlighted.

Keywords:   Catholic schooling, schools, NSYR, religious outcomes, emerging adults, selection effects

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